PayU Partner Program

Enriching the onboarding experience to facilitate conversion and increase revenue

PayU is a leading financial services provider in global growth markets. We use our expertise and heritage in cross border and local payments to extend the services we offer to merchants and consumers.

About the product

As a payment platform, resellers are integral to the business. In the existing structure the discovery of partner platform and decision making for resellers to choose to be a partner was difficult leading to less resellers being on-boarded or some even dropping-off . The feature itself was hidden and the process to become a partner was not clear.

My role

I led the design of PayU partners portal and SMB for iOS, Android, Desktop and Web as soon as I started there in 2017.

Up until July August 2018, I led efforts to evolve the service and address customer pain‐points related to the browse and discovery experience.

Customer Insights & Ideation

I partnered with two project managers and one other senior UX designer to uncover insights and translate concepts into features that address customer behaviours and motivations.

Experience Strategy & Vision

I created frameworks and prototypes to share the vision, design principles and content strategy. This helped to evangelise ideas, gain alignment and drive decision making.

Planning & Scope Definition

I defined the product with my project manager partners. I evangelised customer goals and balanced business goals. I prioritised and negotiated features for launch and beyond.

Oversight & Coordination

I designed across and collaborated with 4 designers and their PM partners to translate product features for each product context.

Design Execution & Validation

I executed journeys, wireframes, prototypes and design specs.


I designed and presented works to gain buy‐in from executives, senior stakeholders and many other PayU teams throughout the project lifecycle.

Create Deeper Relationships with Customers

Demonetization, the currency culling exercise taken up by the government in November 2016, was a major driving force for the adoption of different payment gateways in the country.

The Indian payment gateway market is expected to register a CAGR of 15% during the forecast period (2020 to 2025). The integration of payment gateway has become one of the most critical aspects of any business in every industry. 

👀With the increasing internet penetration and awareness about the ease of online transactions, consumers are changing their preferences for making payments online. The hurdle free transactions generate confidence among the users for switching to online transactions. This rapid adoption of the online method of payment is fuelling the payment gateway market growth in India. And Resellers can play a BIG role in increase the market share.

The approach

I knew it has to be something to do during the onboarding process before we let users enter the main part of the platform. Why? Because the on-boardings are very to-the-point, focusing on one thing at a time, whereas in the main part of the app there is more content, calls to action, etc.

Anyway, we had this idea. We wanted this to be a superior solution and make the resellers’ life easier by reducing their exercise and pressure on our customer support.

Taking the experience to the next level

Other than just simplifying, we also wanted this to be a self serve platform and reduce the hand holding by our executives hence we were looking at automating the process of on-boarding the resellers and ultimately how they can onboard merchants. 

Feature design and development were broken into parallel work-streams. I led the design for all aspects related to the SMB platform.

Each feature phase of the project was serialised, starting with the design and development for the reference platform—PayU website. Once each feature was designed and approved, the engineering team began the implementation.

I followed by working with platform designers to translate product features for their platform’s context. Concurrently, I would design the next feature in the pipeline, whilst also working with my own platform engineering teams to execute the current feature through to completion.

The Discovery

We conducted customer and market research to drive our planning phase.
These are the key insights that defined the launch version of the product:

Lean‐back & Lean‐forward

The primary segments are developers that actively work with businesses and are in-charge of implementation.

Seek and you shall find?

Discovery of partner platform and decision making for users to choose to be a partner was difficult leading to less resellers being on-boarded.

Time is money

An increased dependency on executives to onboard a reseller, because of which only a limited number of resellers get on-boarded

Are we there yet?

The form filling process during on-boarding seems like an endless process and did not match users mental model

What’s in it for me?

No clear communication about the benefits and plans of being a partner

The vision

Our vision for Partner Program was to be the best value service for PayU customers, not a ‘Yeah I know! But let me see other options too.’

We did not want to offer an exhaustive list of benefits, rather wanted to focus on helping users find a platform that is easy to use, and is worth their time and money.

Our customers expect and trust us to know them. We envisioned the platform to be deeply customisable to users’ preferences.

What about the business goals?

The biggest objective for the business was to – Reduce acquisition and servicing cost for partners. Some other objectives were converting new partners and retaining them and finally, on-board/integrate merchants through the partners to start getting GMV

The framework

The biggest challenge I faced while working on this project was balancing going ahead with designs, whilst collaborating with the wider team. Since this project touched every part of the business, I needed to coordinate and get buy‐in from many teams that were both co‐located and distributed. This was hard.

One of the whiteboard brainstorming sessions

Managing feedback was even more challenging because it felt like a see-saw of viewpoints. The team spent a disproportional amount of time debating design decisions— when there wasn’t data that could easily be gathered to help drive a decision.

The impact was agony, paralysis and a growing skepticism for instincts in the design process.

I observed this pattern early enough in the project and invested time into creating documentation to help alleviate the data crutch and better articulate and distribute design rationale. This did take up a lot of time as I took it upfront, but saved a lot of back‐and‐forth as the project progressed.

It all started coming together

Design principles and the content prioritisation framework helped to create visibility into my decision‐making process and galvanise the team to share in the vision.


By analysing user’s on-boarding journey we were then able to narrow down the features via card sorting for the necessary features for Partner Program. We then created a content taxonomy map, to give meaning to the defined features, and a site map to organise the pages, information, and navigation of the platform.

The execution

Here are few screens I created for PayU Partner Program

User Testing

Once the team had a prototype ready for use, we knew we needed to put it in the hands of our customers.

3 months prior to launch we doubled‐down on validating our wildest convictions. We held an extended beta and conducted Guerrilla user testing which highlighted the top risks in the product to be:

We tested our wireframes against key tasks with our Invision prototype. This helped us identify user frustrations we needed to address so we could improve our designs.

Based on the feedback received we then went back to the drawing board to adjust key task flows accordingly.


The Refinement

The product team divided into smaller teams to investigate the top categories for customer feedback and develop a proposal to address the top risks by launch.


The results exceeded business expectations. Despite this rapid adoption, we improved on key engagement, retention, adoption and acquisition metrics.

Since the launch of the redesign of Partner Program (January 2017), the median number of active partners has increased by 35%

And customer support calls from partners specifically for On-boarding reduced by 90%